To say that the last month or so has been a challenge would be an understatement! I knew it would be hard work the moment the words left my mum's mouth. She was going to Cyprus on holiday - for 5 weeks!! OMG how was I going to cope without her? What would I do without her help? Would I be able to manage?
I first realised how much I needed my mum when the boys were about 4 weeks old or so. For the first four weeks of their life my mum lived with me. She helped me with everything, from washing the boys, to putting them to sleep, and even cooking and cleaning for me. She would even take the boys from me at night and look after them, doing all the night feeds (with expressed breast milk), while I slept till the morning. But when she decided that she needed a night in her own home and was leaving me for the evening, I had a panic attack. I just didn't feel I could cope. Seeing me so panicked, my mum ended up coming and going for another 4 months until in the end, I decided it would just be easier for us to move in with her. That way I'd have her to hand 24/7!
So you can imagine my horror when my mum informed me she was off on holiday for a much needed, and a very much deserved break. I don't begrudge my mum anything, of course she must go, but I could feel that old familiar feeling of panic setting in. The boys were now 9 months old, very active, very demanding - I needed her more than ever, or so I thought. I kept how I was feeling under wraps though, as I didn't want to make her feel guilty, and other than the occasional joke about her abandoning me, I assured her I'd be fine.
And so for the first time since the boys were born, I was left completely to my own devices. There was my dad and hubby of course, and he would watch the boys if I needed a quick loo break or a quick shower, but other than that, there was not much he could do. As for hubby, he doesn't get home until after 6pm, which by then the boys are in bed. The biggest help dad did for me was to do the school runs for Kaya. Unfortunately my poor mum didn't get the rest she needed and ended up having an accident and hurt her back in the first week of her holiday, so my dad had to rush to Cyprus to be with her, leaving me completely alone...
And so the merri-go-round of school runs, feeding the boys, entertaining them, taking them up and down the stairs (one under each arm, who needs dumbells) bathing them alone etc, etc, began. Things that I would normally had help with, I had to learn to do alone. The feeling of panic, turned to desperation and depression. Until on the third day I realised something.... Not only was I coping, but I was enjoying it! The boys were thriving, and I was loving the fact that I had the boys all to myself, and managing just fine, thank you very much!
In those five weeks, my little men learnt how to crawl, pull themselves up on furniture and cruise and have started to babble away, having proper conversations with each other. Their gummy smiles and little personalities helped me pull through and see the bright side of things at the most difficult of moments. The hardest thing for us has been the nights. I think that there was so much change what with their nan then grandpa leaving, that the boys became very clingy and would wake several times a night wanting to sleep with us. Yet hubby and I coped. We got on with it and by the fourth week of my parents being away, I decided to tackle our sleepless nights too. It meant alot of willpower and a few tearful, frustrating and even more sleepless nights. After going cold turkey with the night feeds (they were still breastfeeding at night) and refusing to pick them up and using a little bit of the CC technique, we have managed to get the boys more settled at night. They are not sleeping through just yet, but in the last 3 nights, I've had more sleep than I've had in the last nine months! Hopefully they will soon settle even more and start sleeping through. Fingers crossed. Most importantly, I've learnt out of this experience that I am perfectly capable of looking after my boys, all by myself. Yes the house was a bit of a mess as I hardly had any spare time. Yes I went hungry as I didn't have time to cook. BUT I discovered that there's only three people I need to cope - me, myself and I - we can do just fine all on our own! :)